Object Oriented Perl

Author: Damian Conway
List Price: $42.95
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ISBN: 1884777791
Publisher: Manning Publications Company (January, 2000)
Edition: Paperback
Sales Rank: 35,934
Average Customer Rating: 4.67 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5
The low-level "why" book
Preface: I'm a detail person, the top level view is what I ignore to get to the facts. I am entirely turned off by the normal practice of writing up one or two example apps, and then ignoring giving the full details on commands, such as what all the options are, or what the syntax to uuse is. If your app is different than the example, you're pretty much out of luck. That's the situation that other books I'd bought had placed me, while I was trying to learn Perl for a non-trivial app I needed to deliver. I was so frustrated I was nearly in tears.

I don't recall what caused me to buy this book; perhaps it was the only Perl OO book. I am so glad I did, because the amount of info that the author has put into this book is amazing. Not just that, it's the *choices* he made, of what to explain. He's picked all the pieces that the other books glossed over, and examined the missing pieces, so that I now understand the"why" behind many oddities, and I now can push myself much farther forward.

Sort of like, the other books pose the questions, this book answers them.

If you only buy 2 Perl books, make this one of them. Ignore the fact that the title says OO. Yes, it does a great job of explaining how the OO features mechanically work, but the reason to buy this book is all the extra backgrounder info that's in this, it's worth twice what they're asking for. The data often has nothing to do with the OO features, he's probably remembering all the details that HE had to go run down, and he's giving us all these data pearls (pun intended) for free, along with the payment for the OO data.

Don't buy this book to learn object-oriented programming, but if you want to learn how Perl manages to add OO features, and accidentally learn how Perl adds in a great many other features, then you're in the right place.

Rating: 1 out of 5
Surprisingly Disappointing
After reading so many positive reviews of Damian Conway's "Object Oriented (OO) Perl," I decided to buy a copy and increase my understanding of said subject. Unfortunately, after about two months of thoroughly dissecting each chapter in the book, I must admit that I was surprisingly disappointed.

I consider the first two chapters ("What you need to know first" and "What you need to know second") to be well written and quite useful. These chapters effectively and succinctly expressed the non-OO aspect of Perl programming. When I delved excitedly into chapter three, however, it seemed to me that Damian Conway lost his interest in teaching Perl, in lieu of underlining his own mastery of the language. Too many times I recall his overly complicated one-liners getting in the way of a clear explanation of the point he was trying to convey. I bought Damian Conway's OO Perl because I wanted to learn more about object orientation in Perl-not to view obfuscated code. A *lot* more clarity would have the made the book much more useful.

A second frustrating point about the book is how Damian writes a given class, and then fails to provide even a simple example of how to use said class. As a programmer reading the book, I found it quite annoying that I had to so often write my own "class calling" scripts. Of the many classes contained in the contents of the book, I recall only one or two working examples of how to use said classes! This baffled me throughout the book. I kept wondering, "Are examples of how to use these classes available on a website or something?" Even as I write this review now, I'm shaking my head at the lack of examples provided in the book.

In my opinion, the most appropriate title for Damian Conway's book is "Obfuscated Object Oriented Perl." The solid first two chapters aren't worth the ...cost of the book, and the OO chapters (3-14) are practically worthless-both as a reference, and as a means of instruction. The freely available OO Perl tutorials are of much more value than Damian's book. Said tutorials will not only save you money, but they will also bolster your understanding of OO Perl, which is something I so greatly wanted, but so widely failed to receive, from Damian Conway's OO Perl.

Rating: 4 out of 5
For OO Perl, this is the book.
If you've done the Learning Perl, Programming Perl and maybe the Perl Cookbook books, and still want to know more about OO Perl, this book should make you very well rounded.

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